Just because there's a pandemic doesn't mean that you are already prohibited from travelling. Flying abroad is risky, but who's to say that you can't enjoy a holiday within the country?
Going on a camping trip is one of the best things you can do to have an adventure without straying too far away from home. In fact, many Australians have been doing so during the pandemic. A report by the Financial Review highlights how there’s been a spike in camper van sales, which just goes to show how lots of people have been going on road trips to explore the great outdoors.
But given how the situation now is drastically different, you should observe some precautions to ensure you are doing everything in safest possible way.
So, here are some things that you should take note of:
Before you go and explore the great outdoors, it’s of the utmost importance that you get vaccinated. The threat of acquiring COVID-19 is strong, sure, but don’t forget that there are other diseases that you could get, too.
Prior to your trip, the CDC recommends that you check-in with your doctor or nurse to confirm whether or not you’ve had all the recommended vaccines. They’re your protection against certain diseases and conditions while camping. It will ultimately depend on your medical history, destination, and a slew of other factors, but it’s likely that they’ll recommend tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), meningitis, and hepatitis A.
Bring safe and healthy food and water
Not many parks are connected to main water supplies, so you cannot rely on water being available in the rainwater tanks.
Tank water is not treated, either, making it unsuitable for drinking. It’s best to bring plenty of water with you for drinking and washing yourselves, as well as for cleaning your hands. As for food, Daydreaming in Paradise suggests packing shelf-stable food and bringing along lightweight tableware, so it will be easy to cook and prepare meals.
And speaking of cooking, you’ll be doing yourself a favour if your camper van has cooking facilities in it. This way, you won’t have to share food with other people, especially if you’re travelling with a larger group. Buffet-style situations and using the same utensils are risky, so it’s best to prep your own food.
Stay up-to-date with the weather
As highlighted by writer Phil Kelly in a previous post, it’s important for tourists to familiarise themselves with the current climate to avoid extreme seasonal conditions and any unpleasant experiences. This just means that before setting out, keep an eye on the weather and pack accordingly.
It’s vital that you look at both the daytime and nighttime temperatures, as warm sunny days can quickly turn into bitterly cold nights. While you may need sunglasses and hats in the day, you might have to switch to thick socks and warm jumpers come nighttime.
Practice campfire safety
Setting up a campfire and huddling around it is one of the most exciting things about going off the grid, but you should always make sure to practise campfire safety.
The Queensland Government points out that you should only light campfires in parks where it is permitted and that you should extinguish them whenever you leave your campsite unattended. When extinguishing fires, be sure to use water instead of sand, as sand retains heat and can potentially cause severe burns. It’s also vital that your fires are at least 15 feet from the tent walls, shrubs, and trees, and that they’re small and contained in a designated area like a fire pit.
Have First Aid equipment available
The Government of South Australia documents that since many parks are in remote locations, medical aid could be a long way away. If possible, at least one member of your group should have First Aid training.
In the event that something goes wrong, having a complete and well-stocked First Aid kit can save lives. Make sure that it has plasters, bandages, cleansing wipes, thermometer, rash cream, painkillers, antihistamine, distilled water, and much more. If you’re going to explore somewhere else when you’re camping, grab some supplies and throw them in your backpack.